ICC - ICC hosts welcome ceremony honouring Cape Verde as a new State Party

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ICC President Sang-Hyun Song, in the presence of ASP Vice-President, H.E. Ambassador Markus Börlin, presents Cape Verde’s Ambassador, H.E. Ms Mascarenhas, with a special edition of the Rome Statute © ICC-CPI

The International Criminal Court (ICC) held a ceremony on 19 January 2012 at the seat of the Court in The Hague to welcome Cape Verde as the 119th State Party to the Rome Statute, the ICC’s founding treaty. Cape Verde is also the 33rd African State Party, the first Lusophone country in Africa and the 12th member of the Economic Community of West African States to adhere to the Rome Statute, which took effect in the country on 1 January 2012.

During the ceremony, ICC President Sang-Hyun Song presented the Ambassador of Cape Verde, H.E. Ms Maria de Jesus Veiga Miranda Mascarenhas, with a special edition of the Rome Statute, as a symbol of their joint commitment to the rule of law.

ICC President Song recounted that Cape Verde had amended its constitution to ratify the Rome Statute, and that its National Assembly unanimously approved ratification. On the day of ratification to the Rome Statute, Cape Verde also joined a number of other important treaties, such as the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. “This,” said the President, “is an unequivocal demonstration of Cape Verde’s commitment to international law and the protection of human rights”.

The Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties and Ambassador of Switzerland to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Markus Börlin, stated that Cape Verde’s ratification “also conveys a strong message to the international community to further strengthen its efforts to ensure that the most heinous crimes should be investigated and justice dispensed”.

Ambassador Mascarenhas expressed Cape Verde’s support for the ICC, stating: “We heartily acknowledge the International Criminal Court’s progress in fulfilling its mandate, which is to bring to justice the perpetrators of the most serious crimes of concern to the international community. However, despite its best efforts, many challenges remain, with continuing acts of violence, especially those perpetrated against women and children, still being a major concern. […] I wish to assure you, once again, of my country’s commitment to support the Court’s efforts in fighting impunity, establishing accountability and developing international criminal law”.

The ceremony was held in the presence of the Second Vice-President of the Court, Judge Hans-Peter Kaul, Judge Erkki Kourula, Judge Sylvia Steiner, Judge Ekaterina Trendafilova, Judge Daniel Nsereko, Judge Joyce Aluoch, Judge Sanji Monageng, Judge Cuno Tarfusser, the Registrar, Ms Silvana Arbia, the Deputy Registrar, Mr Didier Preira and a representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Senior Legal Adviser Ms Shamila Batohi.

Speech of the President of the ICC, Judge Sang-Hyun Song

Speech of the Vice-President of the Assembly of States Parties, the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Netherlands, H.E. Mr Markus Börlin

Speech of the Ambassador of Cape Verde, H.E. Ms Maria de Jesus Veiga Miranda Mascarenhas

Click here for photos and here for the video summary.

For further information, please contact Fadi El Abdallah, Spokesperson and Head of Public Affairs Unit, International Criminal Court, by telephone at: +31 (0)70 515-9152 or +31 (0)6 46448938 or by e-mail at: [email protected].

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